A Day in the Life of ColumbiaThursday, January 05, 2012 By Mckenzie Browne
My initial thoughts of South America had me expecting an exceedingly hot, run down, and dangerous place compared to America. When I arrived in the country of Colombia, I walked out of customs and found myself in a mob of people searching for their friends or family members. It was around 9p.m., and I was dressed in yoga pants and a hooded sweatshirt. I almost immediately started sweating as I walked outside. It may not have actually been too hot for people accustomed to living there. However, I was coming from Pennsylvania where there was 30 degree weather and snow the night I left. As we made the journey from the airport to the house, I saw run down houses with tacky Christmas lights hanging on them (one thing I was glad to see). The thoughts running through my head were, “I really hope my new house is going to be nice, I don’t think I would be able to live in a house like that for two months.” We arrived at the house and went through a gate which a security guard had to open. I walked into the house and found out that not every house in Colombia is run down. There are nicer parts of the country. The house here is very similar to an American house on the inside, but the outside is not the typical Pennsylvania neighborhood home. The outer appearance is most similar to that of a structure in Florida. Other than the physical look of the country and the temperature difference, the biggest change from America to Colombia was the driving habits. People weave in and out through traffic. Since there are no lanes, no one stops at lights or stop signs. Also, instead of just dodging other cars, you have to worry about people on motorized bikes, which tends to make it even more difficult to get where you want to go. Bikers in the US would never take their bike out in a rain storm. However, for some people a bike is their primary transportation, so they just throw on a poncho and a shielded helmet and keep riding. They look very similar to a superhero in a movie, which looks very funny. In America, when a driver is in your way and you want to pass, you may honk your horn. You will probably receive rude gestures and foul language, but it still works. However in Colombia, if the same thing happens, the person that you honked at will not even look over at you. It is just natural for crazy driving to occur down there. I think if any Americans tried to drive in Columbia, they would get into an accident, which surprisingly does not occur very often. Although there are many major differences between thesee people two countries, the people here are very nice, just like the people in America. Well, most of them anyway!